Monday, February 8, 2010

Charnos Launching a Men's Legwear Line?

Yes, you read that right. Unfortunately, it was a misunderstanding, Charnos--the British women's hosiery company--is not actively planning to launch a men's line of nylon hosiery. The notion surfaced late last week as a result of a Twitter conversation between the owner of the SheerGeek blogsite and Charnos Hosiery, which I picked up on with TweetDeck and chimed in with my own $0.02. (Click on the preceding link to see the complete conversation on SheerGeek's website)...

In a nutshell, Charnos posted the following on Twitter: "Tweet us your height, and what size hosiery you usually wear (S,M,L,XL)"

SheerGeek replied with, "When can we expect to see you enter this growing market?"

To which, Charnos replied, "We actually are testing the mantyhose market as we tweet! One of our tights testing team is a male:"

Well, you can imagine how many bells and alarms a bit of information like this is likely to set off. Many of the thousands of men currently wearing tights and sheer legwear are wishing to see an established major hosiery company launch a men's line, and thus would probably inundate them with calls and emails.

However, I don't know if this happened. I emailed them to inquire further, with the thought of writing an Examiner article on the topic after obtaining further information. Shortly thereafter, the following was posted to SheerGeek's blog by Ali Maynard of Charnos:

"Great to hear you are a fan of Charnos hosiery, but just to clarify Charnos is not going into the 'Mantyhose' market but we are really pleased to know that there are men out there who also love to wear Charnos hosiery.

Our resident male tights tester, Dan, is simply testing our existing range with a male perspective.


So, there you have it. It would seem, according to Charnos anyway, that they have no current plans to get into the 'mantyhose' market anytime soon. That's probably just as well, since we can't necessarily expect any of the large hosiery makers to cater much to a market that--while growing considerably--is still only a small percentage of the women's hosiery market. I still believe men who wear legwear are best off supporting the companies, like ActivSkin, who have been there from the beginning, working to provide what men are looking for and not trying to drive the market somewhere it doesn't want to go.

Still, this whole episode strikes me as rather strange. A Tweet was posted that DID say, "We are actually testing the mantyhose market as we tweet!" An odd way to phrase it if all they were doing is getting a male perspective on women's pantyhose. It could be there's more than meets the eye, and this was some sort of 'trial balloon'.

It is encouraging that a major hosiery maker acknowledges the fact that men do wear their products--as evidenced by their including one on their testing team. We'll see what happens...

[Follow Steve's Tweets on Twitter at:]


  1. Dear Steve

    Re, your comment: "men who wear legwear are best off supporting the companies like ActivSkin." Well I have bought ActivSkin opaque tights as well as other tights marketed at men such as DoYeah etc. And to be honest, although some of them are great products, I do find that with careful attention being paid to sizing, tights made for women can fit really well. Charnos, for example, offer great value opaque tights that fit really well and last a long time. I just don't buy the argument advanced by some bloggers that men should only buy tights made for and manufactured for men. If Charnos are interested in and acknowledge that men wear their tights that's good enough for me. If they have men testing them and giving feedback even better.

  2. I will support the first brand who will help the acceptance in making real marketing actions like visible ads or tv spot, press... Showing a real action to push this market to mainstream

  3. Point well taken, El Huron. I suspect I may be allowing my affinity to ActivSkin to slightly color my comments. You're right. Any large company that is bold enough to commit significant resources to men's legwear should be commended for that, and their products evaluated on a level playing field with all others.

    What is sometimes a bit annoying are the companies that just 'toy with' the idea, yet never actually do anything meaningful because they're ruled by fear. Fear, that is, of some imagined backlash from their female customers if they're seen catering in the slightest to male customers.

    We've seen this with No-Nonsense, who briefly put up a men's legwear page on their website, only to take it down again very soon afterwards. Another is Berkshire Hosiery. Most people are unaware that they had--and may still have--a line of men's pantyhose. They launched it some 6 or more years ago, under the brand name, Lexwear. The product website was completely and utterly severed from any connection to Berkshire. It's never updated (check and see if it's still there:, and they've done absolutely nothing to try and sell this product concept.

    Not THOSE are the type of hosiery companies that we men should not support, in my opinion.

  4. Helps with those pasty white British legs.


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